Google will charge from $1.99 per month (£1.28) for each YouTube channel on its new premium selection, according to a new report.
The Financial Times reports that the subscription fees will apply to 50 as yet unnamed channels, citing sources close to Google.
The fees will add a significant second stream of revenue to the $3.1bn (£1.96bn) in advertising revenues that YouTube made in 2012, the FT reports.
A Google spokesman had earlier said the company was “looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer”.
YouTube recently surpassed the milestone of a billion unique users a month. Only the Google search engine and social network Facebook are frequented more often by those browsing the internet worldwide.
Commenting on the move, from Roy Kimani, CEO of video platform Nideo, said “YouTube’s decision to set-up subscription channels is not really surprising. The recent redesign of the site puts emphasis on user channels and hints at the inclusion of pay-for channels. This however does not address the issues of creating a business friendly environment for businesses and their videos.
“For a long time it’s been clear that YouTube’s main area of focus has been consumer entertainment, with pop videos, gamer channels and online comedy being the most watched content and most advertised on. As a business, you wouldn’t want your brand in an environment that’s surrounded by videos of how to unlock the next level of Call of Duty or a 30 second ad taking up a potential client’s precious time, for example.
“Businesses have to ask whether they are happy for their video content to be on the same page as these videos, because you don’t want your brand to be lost in the clutter of videos that have little or no relevance to the message you’re trying to get across. At present, YouTube doesn’t have the interests of businesses at heart.”
Read the FT report here